British Petroleum Crude Oil Heater North Slope, Alaska, USA


Complete fabrication of a crude oil heater (burner house module, main heater assembly, expansion tank and all associated steel works)

Key points

  • Modular construction completely assembled in shop
  • Disassembled for shipping due to weight restrictions
  • Project included all pipe and structural steel fabrication, testing, insulation and painting


  • Significant cost savings due to modular in-shop construction

Supply and fabrication of a crude oil heater vessel. Project was constructed in modular components to facilitate its transport from Vancouver to the North Slope in Alaska.

Heater was installed on the North Slope of Alaska

The Project

British Petroleum needed a crude oil heater for their operations in Alaska. Through BP's contractor GTS, Ideal Welders was contracted to construct the heater in such a way as to facilitate its transport from Vancouver to Alaska. The heater was eventually fabricated so that it could be easily separated into several large components, shipped and reassembled on site.

Heater with the head removed


The heater assembly consisted of a burner house module, a main heater assembly, an expansion tank, associated ladders, platforms and a stack.

Ideal Welders developed a complete set of shop drawings based on the design supplied by GTS. From there we were responsible for the complete fabrication package.

The scope of the project included;

  • pipe and structural steel fabrication
  • pipe works and structural steel assembly
  • electrical and instrumentation
  • insulation and painting
  • hydro testing and NDE
  • commissioning

Once complete, the entire unit was pre-assembled to ensure proper fit and disassembled for shipping. Total assembled weight was approximately 180 tons.

Fully assembled heater in the shop


The disassembled unit was shipped in pieces by barge direct from our facility to Anchorage. From there, it was trucked to the site and reassembled.

Field commissioning was simplified due to prior testing in the shop and the unit was up and running in record time.

Subsequent to this order, a second unit was constructed for GTS on behalf of ConocoPhillips bound for the same destination.